BBQ Safety

Flare-ups can ruin a good meal or lead to major property damage if not managed properly.  Most people that barbecue have encountered the dreaded flare-up and in some cases be close enough for an eyebrow singe.   Flare-ups can be a lot more dangerous than you think, as fire from a barbecue can spread to surrounding areas, burn people and create the risk for a potential explosion.  Here is a list of universal tips that anyone with a barbecue should follow:

  • When cooking on the grill, do not simply close the lid and walk away. Most flare-ups begin within seconds after food is either placed or flipped on the grill.
  • Wipe your catch pan (if you have one). This collects burnt crisps of meat, and accumulates fats and oils – a recipe for disaster if not cleaned regularly.
  • Always preheat the grill. This burns off any excess bacteria, food scraps or anything else that wasn’t cleaned off.
  • Make sure to clean debris off the grill grates before and after cooking.
  • Trim the excess fat from your meat (perhaps this is also a health tip). This reduces the fatty drippings that seep into the heating element and cause bursting flames from below.
  • Be careful when you apply oil to your grill. Don’t cover your food in too much oil.  Too much oil easily causes barbecue flare-ups.
  • Reducing flammable material that drips down into the grill will go a long way in reducing flare-ups and the likelihood of a major fire.

Did You Know?  National Barbecued Spareribs Day is July 4th

Here is a great barbecued spareribs recipe to celebrate this day.


¼ cup vegetable oil

1 small red onion, diced (1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp lime zest

1 Tbsp finely grated ginger

⅓ cup cider vinegar

½ cup tomato paste

½ cup honey

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

⅓ cup soy sauce

¼ cup orange juice

4 racks country ribs (8 to 10 lbs)


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.  Saute the onions and garlic for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not browned. Add the ground cumin, chili powder and red pepper flakes.  Continue cooking for 1 minute. Add the zest and ginger and cook for an additional minute. Add the vinegar, tomato paste, honey, mustard, soy sauce and orange juice and simmer uncovered on low heat for 15 minutes, until thick.
  2. Marinate the ribs in 2/3 of the barbecue sauce for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Prepare a grill with a single layer of hot coals and then add a few more coals 5 minutes before cooking, which will keep the fire going longer. Place the ribs on the grill and cook for about 25 to 30 minutes, turning once or twice to cook evenly on both sides. Brush with the marinade as needed.
  4. Serve with extra barbecue sauce on the side.
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